BAA National Championships Fail to Produce World Champs Qualifications

  • Anthony Pesela, Baboloki Thebe, Tshepiso Masalela, Victor Ntweng and Isaac Makwala fail to qualify for World Championships but win local titles


The much-vaunted Debswana Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) National Championships did not live up to expected standards and failed to produce a single World Championships qualification in both track and field events.

BAA had pinned its hopes on qualifying more athletes at the event that usually produces qualifications, especially in track events.

The national championships attracted athletes like Tsaone Sebele who dominated and defended her sprint titles in the 100m, the 200m and the 4X100m races. However, she did not clock the World Athletics-required qualification times of 11.08s (100m) and 22.60s (200m).

Progress nevertheless

Anthony Pesela, Baboloki Thebe, Tshepiso Masalela, Victor Ntweng and Isaac Makwala’s efforts to qualify in the 200m, the 400m and the 800m were all unsuccessful, even though they won local titles.

BAA Vice President Administration Oabona Theetso told Gazette Sports afterwards that even though they did not produce any World Championships qualifications, they are happy with the turnout of athletes who participated in the championships.

“We recorded a high number of participants, especially in the junior categories of track events, which reflects progress in our development structures,” he said.

“We have seen and recognised talent from unknown athletes whom we intend to build and develop into elite athletes. We have been hard at work at BAA reviving development structures and I am happy that it is bearing fruit.”

Notable absentees

Letsile Tebogo and Bayapo Ndori were conspicuous by their absence due to their participation in the Diamond League in Rabat, Morocco over the weekend. However, the two have already qualified for the World Championships alongside Collen Kebinatshipi and Leungo Scotch who have all qualified in the 400m.

Christine Botlogetswe and Galefele Moroko are still plotting their way back to the tracks from injuries that have kept them on the sidelines for quite some time.

Two months to Budapest

Even so, Theetso is confident that they will qualify more athletes in upcoming local and continental events.

“We will be sending athletes to compete in various track and field events across the continent and hope they will qualify because it is only two months to the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August,” he said.

“Our athletes are making a lot of progress, especially elite athletes such as Zibani Ngozi, Pako Seribe, Ditiro Nzamani and Lydia Jele, among others.”